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(The New York Times)   Supreme Court to decide if one day you could be sued by a patent troll who argues your DNA infringes on their client's gene patents   (nytimes.com) divider line 108
    More: Interesting, Look at a Gene Issue, DNA, supreme courts, gene patents, friend of the courts, Myriad Genetics, genes  
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3620 clicks; posted to Geek » on 03 Dec 2012 at 7:11 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



108 Comments   (+0 »)
   
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Archived thread
 
2012-12-03 03:36:11 PM
The idea that one can patent life is astronomically stupid and extremely dangerous in my opinion.

I see this playing out in the future where a potential lifesaving cancer, or AIDS drug will be held up in the courts for years because at some point, some research scientist maybe, perhaps used some genetic sequence that is the same or similar to some other genetic sequence to test the drug against and now the "owner"/company that owns said genetic sequence wants their share of the profits.

Think I am being weird or off in left field here? Look at Monsanto and how they are suing farmers out of existence because of cross pollination and their genetic sequence ending up in non-Monsanto based crops...and we are just talking about corn, wheat and soy here, not human life!
 
2012-12-03 03:37:57 PM
The company urged the justices not to hear the case, saying that the "isolated molecules" at issue "were created by humans, do not occur in nature and have new and significant utilities not found in nature." It has long been settled, the company's brief went on, that "the human ingenuity required to create isolated DNA molecules" is worthy of encouragement and that its fruits are worthy of protection.

I train high school students and undergraduates how to isolate specific DNA molecules. It takes about a week and $200 worth of materials. That's definitely a ton of work that needs a patent to protect.
 
2012-12-03 03:45:37 PM
What do you mean, Monsanto says I can't have sex? And why am I classified as "Roundup Ready?"
 
2012-12-03 03:59:03 PM
*sputz sputz sputz CRASH*
 
GAAAHHHHHHHH!, I'm bleeding!
 
Hey! You got your DNA in my genetically modified chocolate!
 
Hey! You got your genetically modified chocolate in my DNA!.
 
*nom nom nom*
 
Hey, I think we're onto something!
 
Something DELICIOUS!
 
*cue sexy funk guitars*
 
2012-12-03 04:00:43 PM

brap: *sputz sputz sputz CRASH*
 
GAAAHHHHHHHH!, I'm bleeding!
 
Hey! You got your DNA in my genetically modified chocolate!
 
Hey! You got your genetically modified chocolate in my DNA!.
 
*nom nom nom*
 
Hey, I think we're onto something!
 
Something DELICIOUS!
 
*cue sexy funk guitars*


I've had some DNA mix with chocolate before. Good times.
 
2012-12-03 04:06:57 PM

Snarfangel: What do you mean, Monsanto says I can't have sex? And why am I classified as "Roundup Ready?"


Sorry pal, you should have read the fine print on your birth certificate that prohibits "seed sharing or seed saving". Nothing we can do about it now
 
2012-12-03 04:38:44 PM
www.fredsworld02.com
 
2012-12-03 04:56:33 PM
Ok, I am confused by this (GASP AINT THAT A SHOCKER!)

I looked at the WP entry on the lawsuit and still am having some issues processing it.

Are they claiming that the test to find a certain gene is their patent? Or, are they claiming the gene is the patent itself? I cannot make heads or tales of this damn thing
 
2012-12-03 05:15:05 PM
Yay, I do love a good Onion articl... Oooh, wait, what the fark is this shiat??
 
2012-12-03 05:30:43 PM

cman: Ok, I am confused by this (GASP AINT THAT A SHOCKER!)

I looked at the WP entry on the lawsuit and still am having some issues processing it.

Are they claiming that the test to find a certain gene is their patent? Or, are they claiming the gene is the patent itself? I cannot make heads or tales of this damn thing


From what I'm gathering, the RESULTS have been patented.

From my limited understanding, this is based in a court case of the company that created the organism that ate oil. They successfully argued that any genetic material that was created in a lab, could be owned. The courts agreed with this-not realizing the full implications ofhow nature actually works.

From what I gather, their procedure gives them a genetic strain that can help in determine many things medically. And then they pattened it. Hence they actually own the condition, and royalties due to detection and treatment. If not outright ownership of a cure.
 
2012-12-03 05:57:13 PM

Darth_Lukecash: From what I gather, their procedure gives them a genetic strain that can help in determine many things medically. And then they pattened it. Hence they actually own the condition, and royalties due to detection and treatment. If not outright ownership of a cure.


Myriad Genetics is arguing that the molecules it has patented do not occur in nature. How would that entitle them to ownership of the naturally occurring condition and other methods of detecting and treating it?

If this patent applies to a method of creating man-made molecules that can be used to detect and/or treat naturally occurring genetic defects, then I don't see a problem. Other researchers just have to find other methods and molecules that do the same thing.
 
2012-12-03 05:58:01 PM
The good news is, most farkers can claim prior work by bringing in a pile of fap socks.
 
2012-12-03 06:01:59 PM
Hold out your hand and I'll give you a sample for analysis
 
2012-12-03 06:08:16 PM

cman: Ok, I am confused by this (GASP AINT THAT A SHOCKER!)

I looked at the WP entry on the lawsuit and still am having some issues processing it.

Are they claiming that the test to find a certain gene is their patent? Or, are they claiming the gene is the patent itself? I cannot make heads or tales of this damn thing


The gene is the patent itself. The specific gene here is BRCA1. Scientists figured out long ago that if a woman had an allele of BRCA1, they would be more likely to have breast cancer (thus the name BRCA, duh). They then figured out what exactly the DNA sequence of the gene was and patented that.

Link There is probably a better link elsewhere.

Here is the abstract:

Specifically, the present invention relates to methods and materials used to isolate and detect a human breast and ovarian cancer predisposing gene (BRCA1), some mutant alleles of which cause susceptibility to cancer, in particular breast and ovarian cancer. More specifically, the invention relates to germline mutations in the BRCA1 gene and their use in the diagnosis of predisposition to breast and ovarian cancer. The present invention further relates to somatic mutations in the BRCA1 gene in human breast and ovarian cancer and their use in the diagnosis and prognosis of human breast and ovarian cancer. Additionally, the invention relates to somatic mutations in the BRCA1 gene in other human cancers and their use in the diagnosis and prognosis of human cancers. The invention also relates to the therapy of human cancers which have a mutation in the BRCA1 gene, including gene therapy, protein replacement therapy and protein mimetics. The invention further relates to the screening of drugs for cancer therapy. Finally, the invention relates to the screening of the BRCA1 gene for mutations, which are useful for diagnosing the predisposition to breast and ovarian cancer.

The translation is: "we figured out this gene might possibly be important so anyone who ever uses this gene for anything ever in the future is infringing on our patent." No drugs were available to target this gene, no tests were available to quickly screen for the mutation, not all of the mutations were mapped, no treatments utilizing anything about this gene were created, no one had any idea how mutations in this gene correlated with the severity of breast cancer, no one knew why this gene was correlated with cancer but figuring any of that stuff out infringes on their patent.

These people are real assholes and there is no way this patent should stand up in court. We figured out the DNA sequence of a gene, therefore if you find a new chemical that cures breast cancer that happens to inhibit the protein created from this DNA sequence you infringed on our work. Assholes.
 
2012-12-03 06:10:07 PM

lennavan: cman: Ok, I am confused by this (GASP AINT THAT A SHOCKER!)

I looked at the WP entry on the lawsuit and still am having some issues processing it.

Are they claiming that the test to find a certain gene is their patent? Or, are they claiming the gene is the patent itself? I cannot make heads or tales of this damn thing

The gene is the patent itself. The specific gene here is BRCA1. Scientists figured out long ago that if a woman had an allele of BRCA1, they would be more likely to have breast cancer (thus the name BRCA, duh). They then figured out what exactly the DNA sequence of the gene was and patented that.

Link There is probably a better link elsewhere.

Here is the abstract:

Specifically, the present invention relates to methods and materials used to isolate and detect a human breast and ovarian cancer predisposing gene (BRCA1), some mutant alleles of which cause susceptibility to cancer, in particular breast and ovarian cancer. More specifically, the invention relates to germline mutations in the BRCA1 gene and their use in the diagnosis of predisposition to breast and ovarian cancer. The present invention further relates to somatic mutations in the BRCA1 gene in human breast and ovarian cancer and their use in the diagnosis and prognosis of human breast and ovarian cancer. Additionally, the invention relates to somatic mutations in the BRCA1 gene in other human cancers and their use in the diagnosis and prognosis of human cancers. The invention also relates to the therapy of human cancers which have a mutation in the BRCA1 gene, including gene therapy, protein replacement therapy and protein mimetics. The invention further relates to the screening of drugs for cancer therapy. Finally, the invention relates to the screening of the BRCA1 gene for mutations, which are useful for diagnosing the predisposition to breast and ovarian cancer.

The translation is: "we figured out this gene might possibly be important so anyone who ever uses this gene for anyt ...


Thank you for dumbing it down for me.
 
2012-12-03 06:25:19 PM
I need to patent aerobic respiration and sue all those farkwits into destitution for breathing without paying me royalties.
 
2012-12-03 06:27:06 PM

BarkingUnicorn: Myriad Genetics is arguing that the molecules it has patented do not occur in nature. How would that entitle them to ownership of the naturally occurring condition and other methods of detecting and treating it?


Ask them. Also - these do occur in nature. That's kinda the entire point. That these things occur in breast cancer patients, which is why they wanted to include in the patent any ways to detect them.

BarkingUnicorn: If this patent applies to a method of creating man-made molecules that can be used to detect and/or treat naturally occurring genetic defects


I'm not sure how to best explain this without needing some biology background. Let me try it this way. DNA is made up of A, T, C and G. So for a very specific region of the genome, called BRCA1, these guys figured this out:

GAAGTTATCAGTCGACGTGAGCTCGCTGAGACTTCCTGGACGGGGGACAGGCTGTGGGGT
TTCTCAGATAACTGGGCCCCTGCGCTCAGGAGGCCTTCACCCTCTGCTCTGGGTAAAGTT
CATTGGAACAGAAAGAAATGGATTTATCTGCTCTTCGCGTTGAAGAAGTACAAAATGTCA
TTAATGCTATGCAGAAAATCTTAGAGTGTCCCATCTGTCTGGAGTTGATCAAGGAACCTG
TCTCCACAAAGTGTGACCACATATTTTGCAAATTTTGCATGCTGAAACTTCTCAACCAGA
AGAAAGGGCCTTCACAGTGTCCTTTATGTAAGAATGATATAACCAAAAGGAGCCTACAAG
AAAGTACGAGATTTAGTCAACTTGTTGAAGAGCTATTGAAAATCATTTGTGCTTTTCAGC
TTGACACAGGTTTGGAGTATGCAAACAGCTATAATTTTGCAAAAAAGGAAAATAACTCTC
CTGAACATCTAAAAGATGAAGTTTCTATCATCCAAAGTATGGGCTACAGAAACCGTGCCA
AAAGACTTCTACAGAGTGAACCCGAAAATCCTTCCTTGCAGGAAACCAGTCTCAGTGTCC
AACTCTCTAACCTTGGAACTGTGAGAACTCTGAGGACAAAGCAGCGGATACAACCTCAAA
AGACGTCTGTCTACATTGAATTGGGATCTGATTCTTCTGAAGATACCGTTAATAAGGCAA
CTTATTGCAGTGTGGGAGATCAAGAATTGTTACAAATCACCCCTCAAGGAACCAGGGATG
AAATCAGTTTGGATTCTGCAAAAAAGGCTGCTTGTGAATTTTCTGAGACGGATGTAACAA
ATACTGAACATCATCAACCCAGTAATAATGATTTGAACACCACTGAGAAGCGTGCAGCTG
AGAGGCATCCAGAAAAGTATCAGGGTAGTTCTGTTTCAAACTTGCATGTGGAGCCATGTG
GCACAAATACTCATGCCAGCTCATTACAGCATGAGAACAGCAGTTTATTACTCACTAAAG
ACAGAATGAATGTAGAAAAGGCTGAATTCTGTAATAAAAGCAAACAGCCTGGCTTAGCAA
GGAGCCAACATAACAGATGGGCTGGAAGTAAGGAAACATGTAATGATAGGCGGACTCCCA
GCACAGAAAAAAAGGTAGATCTGAATGCTGATCCCCTGTGTGAGAGAAAAGAATGGAATA
AGCAGAAACTGCCATGCTCAGAGAATCCTAGAGATACTGAAGATGTTCCTTGGATAACAC
TAAATAGCAGCATTCAGAAAGTTAATGAGTGGTTTTCCAGAAGTGATGAACTGTTAGGTT
CTGATGACTCACATGATGGGGAGTCTGAATCAAATGCCAAAGTAGCTGATGTATTGGACG
TTCTAAATGAGGTAGATGAATATTCTGGTTCTTCAGAGAAAATAGACTTACTGGCCAGTG
ATCCTCATGAGGCTTTAATATGTAAAAGTGAAAGAGTTCACTCCAAATCAGTAGAGAGTA
ATATTGAAGACAAAATATTTGGGAAAACCTATCGGAAGAAGGCAAGCCTCCCCAACTTAA
GCCATGTAACTGAAAATCTAATTATAGGAGCATTTGTTACTGAGCCACAGATAATACAAG
AGCGTCCCCTCACAAATAAATTAAAGCGTAAAAGGAGACCTACATCAGGCCTTCATCCTG
AGGATTTTATCAAGAAAGCAGATTTGGCAGTTCAAAAGACTCCTGAAATGATAAATCAGG
GAACTAACCAAACGGAGCAGAATGGTCAAGTGATGAATATTACTAATAGTGGTCATGAGA
ATAAAACAAAAGGTGATTCTATTCAGAATGAGAAAAATCCTAACCCAATAGAATCACTCG
AAAAAGAATCTGCTTTCAAAACGAAAGCTGAACCTATAAGCAGCAGTATAAGCAATATGG
AACTCGAATTAAATATCCACAATTCAAAAGCACCTAAAAAGAATAGGCTGAGGAGGAAGT
CTTCTACCAGGCATATTCATGCGCTTGAACTAGTAGTCAGTAGAAATCTAAGCCCACCTA
ATTGTACTGAATTGCAAATTGATAGTTGTTCTAGCAGTGAAGAGATAAAGAAAAAAAAGT
ACAACCAAATGCCAGTCAGGCACAGCAGAAACCTACAACTCATGGAAGGTAAAGAACCTG
CAACTGGAGCCAAGAAGAGTAACAAGCCAAATGAACAGACAAGTAAAAGACATGACAGTG
ATACTTTCCCAGAGCTGAAGTTAACAAATGCACCTGGTTCTTTTACTAAGTGTTCAAATA
CCAGTGAACTTAAAGAATTTGTCAATCCTAGCCTTCCAAGAGAAGAAAAAGAAGAGAAAC
TAGAAACAGTTAAAGTGTCTAATAATGCTGAAGACCCCAAAGATCTCATGTTAAGTGGAG
AAAGGGTTTTGCAAACTGAAAGATCTGTAGAGAGTAGCAGTATTTCACTGGTACCTGGTA
CTGATTATGGCACTCAGGAAAGTATCTCGTTACTGGAAGTTAGCACTCTAGGGAAGGCAA
AAACAGAACCAAATAAATGTGTGAGTCAGTGTGCAGCATTTGAAAACCCCAAGGGACTAA
TTCATGGTTGTTCCAAAGATAATAGAAATGACACAGAAGGCTTTAAGTATCCATTGGGAC
ATGAAGTTAACCACAGTCGGGAAACAAGCATAGAAATGGAAGAAAGTGAACTTGATGCTC
AGTATTTGCAGAATACATTCAAGGTTTCAAAGCGCCAGTCATTTGCTCTGTTTTCAAATC
CAGGAAATGCAGAAGAGGAATGTGCAACATTCTCTGCCCACTCTGGGTCCTTAAAGAAAC
AAAGTCCAAAAGTCACTTTTGAATGTGAACAAAAGGAAGAAAATCAAGGAAAGAATGAGT
CTAATATCAAGCCTGTACAGACAGTTAATATCACTGCAGGCTTTCCTGTGGTTGGTCAGA
AAGATAAGCCAGTTGATAATGCCAAATGTAGTATCAAAGGAGGCTCTAGGTTTTGTCTAT
CATCTCAGTTCAGAGGCAACGAAACTGGACTCATTACTCCAAATAAACATGGACTTTTAC
AAAACCCATATCGTATACCACCACTTTTTCCCATCAAGTCATTTGTTAAAACTAAATGTA
AGAAAAATCTGCTAGAGGAAAACTTTGAGGAACATTCAATGTCACCTGAAAGAGAAATGG
GAAATGAGAACATTCCAAGTACAGTGAGCACAATTAGCCGTAATAACATTAGAGAAAATG
TTTTTAAAGGAGCCAGCTCAAGCAATATTAATGAAGTAGGTTCCAGTACTAATGAAGTGG
GCTCCAGTATTAATGAAATAGGTTCCAGTGATGAAAACATTCAAGCAGAACTAGGTAGAA
ACAGAGGGCCAAAATTGAATGCTATGCTTAGATTAGGGGTTTTGCAACCTGAGGTCTATA
AACAAAGTCTTCCTGGAAGTAATTGTAAGCATCCTGAAATAAAAAAGCAAGAATATGAAG
AAGTAGTTCAGACTGTTAATACAGATTTCTCTCCATATCTGATTTCAGATAACTTAGAAC
AGCCTATGGGAAGTAGTCATGCATCTCAGGTTTGTTCTGAGACACCTGATGACCTGTTAG
ATGATGGTGAAATAAAGGAAGATACTAGTTTTGCTGAAAATGACATTAAGGAAAGTTCTG
CTGTTTTTAGCAAAAGCGTCCAGAGAGGAGAGCTTAGCAGGAGTCCTAGCCCTTTCACCC
ATACACATTTGGCTCAGGGTTACCGAAGAGGGGCCAAGAAATTAGAGTCCTCAGAAGAGA
ACTTATCTAGTGAGGATGAAGAGCTTCCCTGCTTCCAACACTTGTTATTTGGTAAAGTAA
ACAATATACCTTCTCAGTCTACTAGGCATAGCACCGTTGCTACCGAGTGTCTGTCTAAGA
ACACAGAGGAGAATTTATTATCATTGAAGAATAGCTTAAATGACTGCAGTAACCAGGTAA
TATTGGCAAAGGCATCTCAGGAACATCACCTTAGTGAGGAAACAAAATGTTCTGCTAGCT
TGTTTTCTTCACAGTGCAGTGAATTGGAAGACTTGACTGCAAATACAAACACCCAGGATC
CTTTCTTGATTGGTTCTTCCAAACAAATGAGGCATCAGTCTGAAAGCCAGGGAGTTGGTC
TGAGTGACAAGGAATTGGTTTCAGATGATGAAGAAAGAGGAACGGGCTTGGAAGAAAATA
ATCAAGAAGAGCAAAGCATGGATTCAAACTTAGGTGAAGCAGCATCTGGGTGTGAGAGTG
AAACAAGCGTCTCTGAAGACTGCTCAGGGCTATCCTCTCAGAGTGACATTTTAACCACTC
AGCAGAGGGATACCATGCAACATAACCTGATAAAGCTCCAGCAGGAAATGGCTGAACTAG
AAGCTGTGTTAGAACAGCATGGGAGCCAGCCTTCTAACAGCTACCCTTCCATCATAAGTG
ACTCCTCTGCCCTTGAGGACCTGCGAAATCCAGAACAAAGCACATCAGAAAAAGCAGTAT
TAACTTCACAGAAAAGTAGTGAATACCCTATAAGCCAGAATCCAGAAGGCCTTTCTGCTG
ACAAGTTTGAGGTGTCTGCAGATAGTTCTACCAGTAAAAATAAAGAACCAGGAGTGGAAA
GGTCATCCCCTTCTAAATGCCCATCATTAGATGATAGGTGGTACATGCACAGTTGCTCTG
GGAGTCTTCAGAATAGAAACTACCCATCTCAAGAGGAGCTCATTAAGGTTGTTGATGTGG
AGGAGCAACAGCTGGAAGAGTCTGGGCCACACGATTTGACGGAAACATCTTACTTGCCAA
GGCAAGATCTAGAGGGAACCCCTTACCTGGAATCTGGAATCAGCCTCTTCTCTGATGACC
CTGAATCTGATCCTTCTGAAGACAGAGCCCCAGAGTCAGCTCGTGTTGGCAACATACCAT
CTTCAACCTCTGCATTGAAAGTTCCCCAATTGAAAGTTGCAGAATCTGCCCAGGGTCCAG
CTGCTGCTCATACTACTGATACTGCTGGGTATAATGCAATGGAAGAAAGTGTGAGCAGGG
AGAAGCCAGAATTGACAGCTTCAACAGAAAGGGTCAACAAAAGAATGTCCATGGTGGTGT
CTGGCCTGACCCCAGAAGAATTTATGCTCGTGTACAAGTTTGCCAGAAAACACCACATCA
CTTTAACTAATCTAATTACTGAAGAGACTACTCATGTTGTTATGAAAACAGATGCTGAGT
TTGTGTGTGAACGGACACTGAAATATTTTCTAGGAATTGCGGGAGGAAAATGGGTAGTTA
GCTATTTCTGGGTGACCCAGTCTATTAAAGAAAGAAAAATGCTGAATGAGCATGATTTTG
AAGTCAGAGGAGATGTGGTCAATGGAAGAAACCACCAAGGTCCAAAGCGAGCAAGAGAAT
CCCAGGACAGAAAGATCTTCAGGGGGCTAGAAATCTGTTGCTATGGGCCCTTCACCAACA
TGCCCACAGATCAACTGGAATGGATGGTACAGCTGTGTGGTGCTTCTGTGGTGAAGGAGC
TTTCATCATTCACCCTTGGCACAGGTGTCCACCCAATTGTGGTTGTGCAGCCAGATGCCT
GGACAGAGGACAATGGCTTCCATGCAATTGGGCAGATGTGTGAGGCACCTGTGGTGACCC
GAGAGTGGGTGTTGGACAGTGTAGCACTCTACCAGTGCCAGGAGCTGGACACCTACCTGA
TACCCCAGATCCCCCACAGCCACTACTGACTGCAGCCAGCCACAGGTACAGAGCCACAGG
ACCCCAAGAATGAGCTTACAAAGTGGCCTTTCCAGGCCCTGGGAGCTCCTCTCACTCTTC
AGTCCTTCTACTGTCCTGGCTACTAAATATTTTATGTACATCAGCCTGAAAAGGACTTCT
GGCTATGCAAGGGTCCCTTAAAGATTTTCTGCTTGAAGTCTCCCTTGGAAATCTGCCATG
AGCACAAAATTATGGTAATTTTTCACCTGAGAAGATTTTAAAACCATTTAAACGCCACCA
ATTGAGCAAGATGCTGATTCATTATTTATCAGCCCTATTCTTTCTATTCAGGCTGTTGTT
GGCTTAGGGCTGGAAGCACAGAGTGGCTTGGCCTCAAGAGAATAGCTGGTTTCCCTAAGT
TTACTTCTCTAAAACCCTGTGTTCACAAATGCAGAGAGTCAGACCCTTCAATGGAAGGAG
AGTGCTTGGGATCGATTATGTGACTTAAAGTCAGAATAGTCCTTGGGCAGTTCTCAAATG
TTGGAGTGGAACATTGGGGAGGAAATTCTGAGGCAGGTATTAGAAATGAAAAGGAAACTT
GAAACCTGGGCATGGTGGCTCACGCCTGTAATCCCAGCACTTTGGGAGGCCAAGGTGGGC
AGATCACTGGAGGTCAGGAGTTCGAAACCAGCCTGGCCAACATGGTGAAACCCCATCTCT
ACTAAAAATACAGAAATTAGCCGGTCATGGTGGTGGACACCTGTAATCCCAGCTACTCAG
GTGGCTAAGGCAGGAGAATCACTTCAGCCCGGGAGGTGGAGGTTGCAGTGAGCCAAGATC
ATACCACGGCACTCCAGCCTGGGTGACAGTGAGACTGTGGCTCAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA
AA


That's it. That is what was figured out. At that time they knew this specific sequence of A's, T's, C's and G's corresponded to a portion of the genome that might be correlated with breast cancer. Now recall DNA is like an instruction manual to generate a protein. Because they figured out the A's, T's, C's and G's, if I create a drug that cures breast cancer by targetting the protein generated by the BRCA1 DNA, I infringed on their patent. If I come up with a test that determines if a woman has a mutation in BRCA1 and how likely she will be to get cancer, I infringed on their patent. All they figured out was the A's, T's, C's and G's.
 
2012-12-03 06:58:04 PM

cman: Ok, I am confused by this (GASP AINT THAT A SHOCKER!)

I looked at the WP entry on the lawsuit and still am having some issues processing it.

Are they claiming that the test to find a certain gene is their patent? Or, are they claiming the gene is the patent itself? I cannot make heads or tales of this damn thing


the issue is that once they identify and isolate a particular gene and it's function anyone who can read your DNA can do a test to see if you have it. The company wants to "patent" the gene so diagnostic tests would be proprietary and only they could sell them. They argue that without that exclusivity, they lose the economic incentive to do further research. Which I understand on one level, but on the other most of the genes testing companies have been outgrowth of grant-funded research at public universities, and many of the companies that then patent the discoveries are attempts to monetize that research by the lead investigator and/or the university, so the argument isn't as strong as they claim
 
2012-12-03 07:15:20 PM
Does this mean I'm going to have to fill out paperwork every time I fap?
 
2012-12-03 07:26:05 PM
www.technobuffalo.com
/Patent pending
 
2012-12-03 07:29:02 PM

BarkingUnicorn: Darth_Lukecash: From what I gather, their procedure gives them a genetic strain that can help in determine many things medically. And then they pattened it. Hence they actually own the condition, and royalties due to detection and treatment. If not outright ownership of a cure.

Myriad Genetics is arguing that the molecules it has patented do not occur in nature. How would that entitle them to ownership of the naturally occurring condition and other methods of detecting and treating it?

If this patent applies to a method of creating man-made molecules that can be used to detect and/or treat naturally occurring genetic defects, then I don't see a problem. Other researchers just have to find other methods and molecules that do the same thing.


That. Contrary to Subby's fearmongering, you couldn't possibly be sued for having the gene since Myriad's explicit position is that the natural form of the gene is not covered by the patent. You could only infringe if, somehow, your body had free single-gene segments of DNA floating around... and even then, you'd have a great argument that the patent would be invalid if those segments were natural.
Plus, Myriad doesn't want to sue cancer patients. All their money is tied up in treatments, wigs, and sadness. They want to sue cancer test manufacturers who use Myriad's research without paying royalties.

Darth_Lukecash: From my limited understanding, this is based in a court case of the company that created the organism that ate oil. They successfully argued that any genetic material that was created in a lab, could be owned. The courts agreed with this-not realizing the full implications ofhow nature actually works.


It's related, but your interpretation is a bit off. The case you're thinking of is Diamond v. Chakrabarty, and it doesn't really apply here... Chakrabarty established the principle that an invention isn't barred from patentability, merely because it's alive. It's a good decision, since (i) Congress never added an "unless it's alive" exemption to 35 USC 101, and (ii) why shouldn't brand new bacteria, wetware symbiotic computers, and artificially intelligent systems be patentable?

This case really has more to do with "refining" or inherency. U-235 is never found in nature, on its own... It's always found with U-238. But it's not patentable because natural uranium contains it, so it's not a "new" composition of matter. Nonetheless, refining processes are patentable.
The question is whether isolated genes are not patentable for the same reason - they're always found with the rest of the DNA. But, is isolating them a transformative step that actually changes them - like making vulcanized rubber from natural rubber - or is it merely an isolation step, like centrifuging uranium?
 
2012-12-03 07:30:54 PM
This will be decided by nine people who can't program a DVR to record Matlock.

/but I'm sure if you hire a couple of spouses as consultants, the case will go your way.
 
2012-12-03 07:32:04 PM

Magorn: They argue that without that exclusivity, they lose the economic incentive to do further research. Which I understand on one level, but on the other most of the genes testing companies have been outgrowth of grant-funded research at public universities, and many of the companies that then patent the discoveries are attempts to monetize that research by the lead investigator and/or the university, so the argument isn't as strong as they claim


It's still a strong claim... Public (and private) research universities make a ton of their budgets from patent licensing. For example, MIT made $147.5 million in 2010 from its licensing activities, or a little over a fifth of its research budget.
 
2012-12-03 07:35:27 PM
Small time farmers get their ass sued off when they use seed produced by their own crops which thanks to the wind and honeybees were pollinated by the genetically modified crop in the field across the street. One day somebody's going to genetically modify a human using a patented gene. That human will reproduce, and during the course of the pregnancy the company that holds the patent on the modified gene will more than likely sue in order to force the parents to either terminate the pregnancy, pay up, or award the plaintiffs custody of the child. After all, they'll have legal precedent on their side.
 
2012-12-03 07:35:48 PM

Magorn: cman: Ok, I am confused by this (GASP AINT THAT A SHOCKER!)

I looked at the WP entry on the lawsuit and still am having some issues processing it.

Are they claiming that the test to find a certain gene is their patent? Or, are they claiming the gene is the patent itself? I cannot make heads or tales of this damn thing

the issue is that once they identify and isolate a particular gene and it's function anyone who can read your DNA can do a test to see if you have it. The company wants to "patent" the gene so diagnostic tests would be proprietary and only they could sell them. They argue that without that exclusivity, they lose the economic incentive to do further research. Which I understand on one level, but on the other most of the genes testing companies have been outgrowth of grant-funded research at public universities, and many of the companies that then patent the discoveries are attempts to monetize that research by the lead investigator and/or the university, so the argument isn't as strong as they claim


Further elucidation on the reasoning behind the district court and the appeals court.

The district court ruled that since the sequence is found in nature, it falls under the clause that makes such things un-patentable.

The appeals court took that argument and tilted it just a little. The gene, as it exists in you, is not patentable. Think about the genetic code as a recipe book with 20,000 recipes split into 23 volumes (of which there are two copies of each volume, each with minor variations). The argument was that the books as found are not patentable. The gene was part of a set, and was found naturally in that set. Unfortunately, the judge (Who I believe was operating under the 'This must be patentable, I just have to figure out how to legally justify it' mindset. This is the CAFC. They tend to lean pro-patent. A lot) ruled that the copy made of the gene (Which at the moment is required to read it) was synthetic and thus patentable. Which is pants on head retarded. This is now saying that the cookbook is not patentable, but if I stick it on a xerox and photocopy a page, that is now substantially different than the page in the book.

In short, no, this isn't about the fact that your DNA would infringe, because it exists as part of the set. This is about the ability to read the code. Tying in to the Prometheus vs Mayo case earlier this year about diagnostic tests.

This wouldn't effect Monsanto either. Well. Not in the way you think it might. Monsanto doesn't deal in genes, it deals in products and contracts. They rely more on the fact that they've made a potato with Round-up ready resistance and the fact that you've signed a contract not to save seed (or eyes. Or whatever.) They don't rely on the code itself.
 
2012-12-03 07:36:15 PM

lennavan: The company urged the justices not to hear the case, saying that the "isolated molecules" at issue "were created by humans, do not occur in nature and have new and significant utilities not found in nature." It has long been settled, the company's brief went on, that "the human ingenuity required to create isolated DNA molecules" is worthy of encouragement and that its fruits are worthy of protection.

I train high school students and undergraduates how to isolate specific DNA molecules. It takes about a week and $200 worth of materials. That's definitely a ton of work that needs a patent to protect.


Sure, isolating is straightforward... Finding out which ones to isolate, there's the difficult part. It's like the old joke about the doctor's bill with $5 for hitting you with a hammer, and $295 for knowing where to hit.
 
2012-12-03 07:41:22 PM

pheelix: Small time farmers get their ass sued off when they use seed produced by their own crops which thanks to the wind and honeybees were pollinated by the genetically modified crop in the field across the street the genetically modified crop which they've carefully collected and isolated by destroying all of the non-modified crop it was mixed with.


FTFY. There are some reasonable questions around the Monsanto suit, but its disingenuous to claim that bees and the wind were responsible for the field of 100% Monsanto canola.
 
2012-12-03 07:43:30 PM

Theaetetus: Magorn: They argue that without that exclusivity, they lose the economic incentive to do further research. Which I understand on one level, but on the other most of the genes testing companies have been outgrowth of grant-funded research at public universities, and many of the companies that then patent the discoveries are attempts to monetize that research by the lead investigator and/or the university, so the argument isn't as strong as they claim

It's still a strong claim... Public (and private) research universities make a ton of their budgets from patent licensing. For example, MIT made $147.5 million in 2010 from its licensing activities, or a little over a fifth of its research budget.


Which is the problem, actually. Bell Labs is long gone and no one in private industry funds "pure" (no obvious commercial implications) research of the kind that gave us such marvels as the LASER (yes it is technically and acronym) but we were told that Universities would pick up the slack in that dept-and they did, for a while. Then a few UCLA and MIT professors started making fortunes off certain discoveries and every third CS prof was making millions founding dotcoms. Suddenly the universities decided they wanted "in" and forced revenue sharing agreements on all their profs. Now, research simply doesn't get funded that doesn't show immediate commercial potential as Universities have basically become corporations all but in name.

Personally I'd kick in and extra $50 per person per year in taxes (about $15 billion/year) and like to see us publicly fund genetic research, manufacture "orphan" drugs and vaccines, and do research on botanical-based drug, with the caveat that anything so discovered gets released into the public domain
 
2012-12-03 07:46:58 PM

Theaetetus: Magorn: They argue that without that exclusivity, they lose the economic incentive to do further research. Which I understand on one level, but on the other most of the genes testing companies have been outgrowth of grant-funded research at public universities, and many of the companies that then patent the discoveries are attempts to monetize that research by the lead investigator and/or the university, so the argument isn't as strong as they claim

It's still a strong claim... Public (and private) research universities make a ton of their budgets from patent licensing. For example, MIT made $147.5 million in 2010 from its licensing activities, or a little over a fifth of its research budget.


But a vast majority of them don't make that money back. Pointing out the shining star doesn't counter the fact that much of these research grants are NSF, NIH, DOE funded. Publically funded. And while there are strict rules on what you can and cannot do with that money, facilities that seem to be producing private results are often paid for by public money.

Additionally

They want to sue cancer test manufacturers who use Myriad's research without paying royalties.

This presents a giant problem for validation. And for anyone who is working around this area. The problem here is that what Myriad seems to be patenting a (putative) fact. BRCA1 and BRCA2 are in some allelic states, tied to breast cancer. Currently, there's an issue with trying to verify this since Myriad does not like people poking around in the gene set. So they'll either set royalties high, or otherwise obfuscate the field. Additionally, they stagnate the field. A professor I knew who was trying to predict cancer incidence by Machine learning had to deliberately leave out BRCA1 and BRCA2. I didn't actually notice this when he was giving the seminar, but when looking at his geneset, he'd left them both out. I asked, and he said 'I can't include them for legal reasons'.

This is why Prometheus has left me hopeful. This is essentially a diagnostic test, and should be treated as such.
 
2012-12-03 07:47:06 PM

Theaetetus: pheelix: Small time farmers get their ass sued off when they use seed produced by their own crops which thanks to the wind and honeybees were pollinated by the genetically modified crop in the field across the street the genetically modified crop which they've carefully collected and isolated by destroying all of the non-modified crop it was mixed with.

FTFY. There are some reasonable questions around the Monsanto suit, but its disingenuous to claim that bees and the wind were responsible for the field of 100% Monsanto canola.


No, but then the discovery that plants can spontaneously "swap" genes through the air raises a question as to whether that actually WAS Monsanto Canola or just had some of the smae genetic markers
 
2012-12-03 07:47:39 PM

Theaetetus: Sure, isolating is straightforward... Finding out which ones to isolate, there's the difficult part. It's like the old joke about the doctor's bill with $5 for hitting you with a hammer, and $295 for knowing where to hit.


So in your opinion, if people didn't know what caused sugar cane sap to be sweet, someone could have patented glucose?
 
2012-12-03 07:49:55 PM
3.bp.blogspot.com
 
2012-12-03 07:50:12 PM
I can see granting a patent on a new process that isolates genes, but granting a patent in itself is beyond stupid.

"You stick some material in this slot here and in 30 seconds it prints out the gene sequence." That's cool and awesome and patentable.

"If you want to stick your material in her slot, you need to pay a license to use our patent." Fark that!
 
2012-12-03 07:51:59 PM

Magorn: Theaetetus: pheelix: Small time farmers get their ass sued off when they use seed produced by their own crops which thanks to the wind and honeybees were pollinated by the genetically modified crop in the field across the street the genetically modified crop which they've carefully collected and isolated by destroying all of the non-modified crop it was mixed with.

FTFY. There are some reasonable questions around the Monsanto suit, but its disingenuous to claim that bees and the wind were responsible for the field of 100% Monsanto canola.

No, but then the discovery that plants can spontaneously "swap" genes through the air raises a question as to whether that actually WAS Monsanto Canola or just had some of the smae genetic markers


The Max Planck Institute. Now that brings back memories.

Reading carefully though, that's CHLOROPLAST swap. Not genomic. It's a little different. What you might be looking for is the recent publications on horizontal gene transfer due to third parties in plants. Which occur more often than we originally guessed. Again though, probably not in this case. You'd have to pick up an awfully specific part of the genome to get what happened to have happened. As much as I hate to admit it, Thaetus is right. There are a lot of dirty hands in the Monsanto cases, and not all of them are corporate.
 
2012-12-03 07:53:24 PM

OgreMagi: I can see granting a patent on a new process that isolates genes, but granting a patent in itself is beyond stupid.

"You stick some material in this slot here and in 30 seconds it prints out the gene sequence." That's cool and awesome and patentable.

"If you want to stick your material in her slot, you need to pay a license to use our patent." Fark that!


Dude. If you knew how to do that, I could make you a billionaire.
 
2012-12-03 07:54:52 PM

Kinek: This is why Prometheus has left me hopeful. This is essentially a diagnostic test, and should be treated as such.


I don't think that'll help much. Prometheus' real problems were bad drafting that essentially claimed known steps with a law of nature. You could have the same claims be valid by writing it in more of a software perspective, with machines performing various steps and not trying to claim the correlation. If you read it in context with Bilski, it's more about how purely mental processes are not patent eligible.
 
2012-12-03 07:55:08 PM

lennavan: That's it. That is what was figured out. At that time they knew this specific sequence of A's, T's, C's and G's corresponded to a portion of the genome that might be correlated with breast cancer. Now recall DNA is like an instruction manual to generate a protein. Because they figured out the A's, T's, C's and G's, if I create a drug that cures breast cancer by targetting the protein generated by the BRCA1 DNA, I infringed on their patent. If I come up with a test that determines if a woman has a mutation in BRCA1 and how likely she will be to get cancer, I infringed on their patent. All they figured out was the A's, T's, C's and G's.


So it's like claiming copyright on a book because you figured out how to read it.

This is bullshiat.
 
2012-12-03 07:56:31 PM

Cubicle Jockey: Theaetetus: Sure, isolating is straightforward... Finding out which ones to isolate, there's the difficult part. It's like the old joke about the doctor's bill with $5 for hitting you with a hammer, and $295 for knowing where to hit.

So in your opinion, if people didn't know what caused sugar cane sap to be sweet, someone could have patented glucose?


No, see the other post. Glucose does exist on its own in nature, and therefore is not a "new" composition of matter.
 
2012-12-03 07:58:07 PM

BarkingUnicorn: lennavan: That's it. That is what was figured out. At that time they knew this specific sequence of A's, T's, C's and G's corresponded to a portion of the genome that might be correlated with breast cancer. Now recall DNA is like an instruction manual to generate a protein. Because they figured out the A's, T's, C's and G's, if I create a drug that cures breast cancer by targetting the protein generated by the BRCA1 DNA, I infringed on their patent. If I come up with a test that determines if a woman has a mutation in BRCA1 and how likely she will be to get cancer, I infringed on their patent. All they figured out was the A's, T's, C's and G's.

So it's like claiming copyright on a book because you figured out how to read it.

This is bullshiat.


No, it's like claiming a patent on magnetic monopoles because you figured out how to isolate a pole of a magnet.
 
2012-12-03 07:59:30 PM

Cubicle Jockey: Theaetetus: Sure, isolating is straightforward... Finding out which ones to isolate, there's the difficult part. It's like the old joke about the doctor's bill with $5 for hitting you with a hammer, and $295 for knowing where to hit.

So in your opinion, if people didn't know what caused sugar cane sap to be sweet, someone could have patented glucose?


The issue with patenting genes is thus. It's not hard to isolate a gene. This might be a bit of cockiness talking, but all it takes is time and a reasonable level of competentce. The idea of patenting a gene is ridiculous, not because of any kind of morality argument, but because it's not that innovative to find a gene. Skill comes in when you want to find a lot of genes very quickly, or find associations with other genes quickly. Skill reduces the time to find a gene and to find a use for it. Skill reduces the money that you spend finding it.

To me, the genome is like a giant plot of land with little grid squares. You dig up one, you find a gene. You dig up another, you find a gene. What those genes do takes some time, and I'm not belittling the people who work on this. But the key comes in making applications. That's the new and novel part. Finding a gene is not novel. And it's certainly not 'non-obvious'.
 
2012-12-03 08:01:28 PM

Theaetetus: No, see the other post. Glucose does exist on its own in nature, and therefore is not a "new" composition of matter.


This gene can be found in living people already. How does it not exist on it's own in nature?

Is it because they isolated it? Well then Fermilab should have patented all six quarks, since those are not found occurring naturally on their own either.
 
2012-12-03 08:03:11 PM

Theaetetus: Cubicle Jockey: Theaetetus: Sure, isolating is straightforward... Finding out which ones to isolate, there's the difficult part. It's like the old joke about the doctor's bill with $5 for hitting you with a hammer, and $295 for knowing where to hit.

So in your opinion, if people didn't know what caused sugar cane sap to be sweet, someone could have patented glucose?

No, see the other post. Glucose does exist on its own in nature, and therefore is not a "new" composition of matter.


A tree is not patentable, but apparently its leaf is. The claim that the new isolated DNA is new is idiotic. The purpose of the copy is so that it can be read and the original sequence inferred. If it was 'NEW' then PCR would be farking worthless. Do you want your photocopier changing your document around? Perhaps editing some words?
 
2012-12-03 08:04:16 PM
This is the kind of shiat where we should break out a noose every time some asshole has the gall to even ask about.
 
2012-12-03 08:05:43 PM

Kinek: OgreMagi: I can see granting a patent on a new process that isolates genes, but granting a patent in itself is beyond stupid.

"You stick some material in this slot here and in 30 seconds it prints out the gene sequence." That's cool and awesome and patentable.

"If you want to stick your material in her slot, you need to pay a license to use our patent." Fark that!

Dude. If you knew how to do that, I could make you a billionaire.


Some day someone will do just that. It will probably take more than 30 seconds, but any automated process to sequence will be worth a farking fortune.

Now I just need a way to be able to insert my material in her slot. That would also be worth a small fortune.
 
2012-12-03 08:06:52 PM

Theaetetus: Kinek: This is why Prometheus has left me hopeful. This is essentially a diagnostic test, and should be treated as such.

I don't think that'll help much. Prometheus' real problems were bad drafting that essentially claimed known steps with a law of nature. You could have the same claims be valid by writing it in more of a software perspective, with machines performing various steps and not trying to claim the correlation. If you read it in context with Bilski, it's more about how purely mental processes are not patent eligible.


Which is why the CAFC judge bent over backwards to claim that the 'synthetic' molecule's production was patentable when it has no right to be. Not the fact that the Allele A results in Breast cancer. They started out at 'This is patentable. I just need to figure out how.'
 
2012-12-03 08:07:48 PM

Cubicle Jockey: Theaetetus: No, see the other post. Glucose does exist on its own in nature, and therefore is not a "new" composition of matter.

This gene can be found in living people already. How does it not exist on it's own in nature? Is it because they isolated it?


Yep, see above.

Well then Fermilab should have patented all six quarks, since those are not found occurring naturally on their own either.

Arguably, they could have. Mind you, only isolated quarks would infringe their patent, so it's not as if they could run out and slap everyone with suits.
 
2012-12-03 08:08:50 PM

lennavan: I train high school students and undergraduates how to isolate specific DNA molecules. It takes about a week and $200 worth of materials. That's definitely a ton of work that needs a patent to protect.


I'm with you. I totally am.

But that's not the same thing. Are you looking for something you already know is there and expect to find using proven methods?
 
2012-12-03 08:09:16 PM

Cubicle Jockey: Is it because they isolated it? Well then Fermilab should have patented all six quarks, since those are not found occurring naturally on their own either.


That would be good.

"Hey you made that thing out of matter! We hold the patent on matter!

Are these insane patent battles global or restricted to the US?
 
2012-12-03 08:12:13 PM

Kinek: Theaetetus: Cubicle Jockey: Theaetetus: Sure, isolating is straightforward... Finding out which ones to isolate, there's the difficult part. It's like the old joke about the doctor's bill with $5 for hitting you with a hammer, and $295 for knowing where to hit.

So in your opinion, if people didn't know what caused sugar cane sap to be sweet, someone could have patented glucose?

No, see the other post. Glucose does exist on its own in nature, and therefore is not a "new" composition of matter.

A tree is not patentable, but apparently its leaf is.


Leaves fall off trees and lie on the ground on their own. I think the monopole is a better comparison. :P

The claim that the new isolated DNA is new is idiotic. The purpose of the copy is so that it can be read and the original sequence inferred. If it was 'NEW' then PCR would be farking worthless.

Claiming that something can't be new because it's used for something that isn't new is illogical. Computers do calculations that have existed for thousands of years, so they can't be new either?

Kinek: Which is why the CAFC judge bent over backwards to claim that the 'synthetic' molecule's production was patentable when it has no right to be. Not the fact that the Allele A results in Breast cancer. They started out at 'This is patentable. I just need to figure out how.'


I know what you mean, but that's the process they're supposed to follow - specifically "this is presumed patentable. Can I prove that it's not?" It's similar to the requirements of "innocent until proven guilty". In this case, they asked if they could prove that it was not a new composition of matter but already existent in nature, and, within the narrow bounds of the claim, they couldn't.
 
2012-12-03 08:15:51 PM

whatshisname: Cubicle Jockey: Is it because they isolated it? Well then Fermilab should have patented all six quarks, since those are not found occurring naturally on their own either.

That would be good.

"Hey you made that thing out of matter! We hold the patent on matter!


See above - they would've held the patent on isolated quarks, so you could just respond "this is baryonic, so suck it."

Are these insane patent battles global or restricted to the US?

Each country has its own patent law, so the battles are restricted... but each country's patent law is highly similar, so there's a global war over the same issues, to extend the analogy. For example, the Bilski decision was a US-only decision, but Europe (and others) adopted almost identical rules.

/so when someone tells you that software isn't patentable in Europe, they're really misunderstanding both European and US law
 
2012-12-03 08:20:54 PM

Kinek: Magorn: Theaetetus: pheelix: Small time farmers get their ass sued off when they use seed produced by their own crops which thanks to the wind and honeybees were pollinated by the genetically modified crop in the field across the street the genetically modified crop which they've carefully collected and isolated by destroying all of the non-modified crop it was mixed with.

FTFY. There are some reasonable questions around the Monsanto suit, but its disingenuous to claim that bees and the wind were responsible for the field of 100% Monsanto canola.

No, but then the discovery that plants can spontaneously "swap" genes through the air raises a question as to whether that actually WAS Monsanto Canola or just had some of the smae genetic markers

The Max Planck Institute. Now that brings back memories.

Reading carefully though, that's CHLOROPLAST swap. Not genomic. It's a little different. What you might be looking for is the recent publications on horizontal gene transfer due to third parties in plants. Which occur more often than we originally guessed. Again though, probably not in this case. You'd have to pick up an awfully specific part of the genome to get what happened to have happened. As much as I hate to admit it, Thaetus is right. There are a lot of dirty hands in the Monsanto cases, and not all of them are corporate.


Now this is purely hypothetical, but this is how we lawyers think. Suppose the USC rules in favor of the patent. Further suppose that someone "patents" genetic variations for increased strength, intelligence, more resistance to disease, etc (IIRC there's a genetic variation found in rural England that gives natural immunity to some nasty plagues), and further suppose you could create "designer" babies by buying these genes from the patent holder and injecting them into a fetus' genome shortly after conception.

Now that kid grows up, is interested in having kids of his own. Based on those Monsanto case precedents, would it be reasonable/legal to require the child to obtain a license from the patent holder, or at least pay them royalties for each kid they have?
 
2012-12-03 08:22:15 PM

Theaetetus: Arguably, they could have. Mind you, only isolated quarks would infringe their patent, so it's not as if they could run out and slap everyone with suits.


If I remove a living human brain and put it on life support, can I patent it?
 
2012-12-03 08:22:53 PM

Theaetetus: Kinek: Theaetetus: Cubicle Jockey: Theaetetus: Sure, isolating is straightforward... Finding out which ones to isolate, there's the difficult part. It's like the old joke about the doctor's bill with $5 for hitting you with a hammer, and $295 for knowing where to hit.

So in your opinion, if people didn't know what caused sugar cane sap to be sweet, someone could have patented glucose?

No, see the other post. Glucose does exist on its own in nature, and therefore is not a "new" composition of matter.

A tree is not patentable, but apparently its leaf is.

Leaves fall off trees and lie on the ground on their own. I think the monopole is a better comparison. :P

The claim that the new isolated DNA is new is idiotic. The purpose of the copy is so that it can be read and the original sequence inferred. If it was 'NEW' then PCR would be farking worthless.

Claiming that something can't be new because it's used for something that isn't new is illogical. Computers do calculations that have existed for thousands of years, so they can't be new either?

Kinek: Which is why the CAFC judge bent over backwards to claim that the 'synthetic' molecule's production was patentable when it has no right to be. Not the fact that the Allele A results in Breast cancer. They started out at 'This is patentable. I just need to figure out how.'

I know what you mean, but that's the process they're supposed to follow - specifically "this is presumed patentable. Can I prove that it's not?" It's similar to the requirements of "innocent until proven guilty". In this case, they asked if they could prove that it was not a new composition of matter but already existent in nature, and, within the narrow bounds of the claim, they couldn't.


I don't think the monopole is a better example. A Monopole is fundamentally different than a magnet. An isolated chunk of Gene is not fundamentally different than when it is present in DNA. We're going to ignore histones and methylation since they're not important to the conversation. The end product here is not the synthetic product itself, but the information contained in it. The synthetic product is only useful in that it can be read. But they can't patent the information since it falls under a host of cases, and the fact that you can't patent a fact. I don't think. And if they were patenting the information, that /would/ put them square in the path of the Prometheus ruling.

My issue is this. Myriad was told 'You cannot patent DNA', and 'You cannot patent facts'. So instead, the judge let them patent the intermediate step in order to get from DNA to Facts. A process they have nothing to do with. They don't own the PCR patent. You've just let someone take A->B->C. Of which A and C cannot be patented, the first arrow's patent is expired, the second arrow's patent is not theirs, and said that B is patentable.
 
2012-12-03 08:33:40 PM

Magorn: Kinek: Magorn: Theaetetus: pheelix: Small time farmers get their ass sued off when they use seed produced by their own crops which thanks to the wind and honeybees were pollinated by the genetically modified crop in the field across the street the genetically modified crop which they've carefully collected and isolated by destroying all of the non-modified crop it was mixed with.

FTFY. There are some reasonable questions around the Monsanto suit, but its disingenuous to claim that bees and the wind were responsible for the field of 100% Monsanto canola.

No, but then the discovery that plants can spontaneously "swap" genes through the air raises a question as to whether that actually WAS Monsanto Canola or just had some of the smae genetic markers

The Max Planck Institute. Now that brings back memories.

Reading carefully though, that's CHLOROPLAST swap. Not genomic. It's a little different. What you might be looking for is the recent publications on horizontal gene transfer due to third parties in plants. Which occur more often than we originally guessed. Again though, probably not in this case. You'd have to pick up an awfully specific part of the genome to get what happened to have happened. As much as I hate to admit it, Thaetus is right. There are a lot of dirty hands in the Monsanto cases, and not all of them are corporate.

Now this is purely hypothetical, but this is how we lawyers think. Suppose the USC rules in favor of the patent. Further suppose that someone "patents" genetic variations for increased strength, intelligence, more resistance to disease, etc (IIRC there's a genetic variation found in rural England that gives natural immunity to some nasty plagues), and further suppose you could create "designer" babies by buying these genes from the patent holder and injecting them into a fetus' genome shortly after conception.

Now that kid grows up, is interested in having kids of his own. Based on those Monsanto case precedents, would it be reas ...


Now, I'm not a lawyer, but I don't think that people are treated the same as plants. That would be one of the reasons I'm in crop science and not human genetics. Apparently ethics boards get grumpy when you start selectively breeding people. Or burning them. Or dissecting them. Lot less paperwork, and all I have to deal with is Anti-GM people instead of PETA. Or the Hague.

Human rights aside, this wouldn't work to fleece the company selling genes. THis ties into one of the reasons that farmers have to buy elite hybrid seed every year. Due to the way many genes work in these elite hybrids, homozygotes (Containing two of the same Alleles) are often at a disadvantage, compared to heterozygotes (A and B). The heterozygosity is what makes them especially fit. But their offspring will be 25% AA, 50% AB, and 25% BB. The next generation will only be half Elite. Same could probably be true of whatever modifications there might be.

The issue here is not the patentability of DNA (The Human Genome Project Race saw a bill that made that specifically not possible), but the patentability of isolated segments. These isolated segments are at the moment necessary to a functional 'read' of what the genome possesses.
 
2012-12-03 08:38:23 PM

Kinek: The issue here is not the patentability of DNA (The Human Genome Project Race saw a bill that made that specifically not possible), but the patentability of isolated segments.


If you can patent a segment, you can patent the whole genome piecemeal.
 
2012-12-03 08:41:53 PM

doyner: Kinek: The issue here is not the patentability of DNA (The Human Genome Project Race saw a bill that made that specifically not possible), but the patentability of isolated segments.

If you can patent a segment, you can patent the whole genome piecemeal.


Functionally, you can keep people from reading it, as this current case stands. So you can't patent the DNA itself, but you can sure as hell keep people from accessing it. Which is why the CAFC ruling irritated me.
 
2012-12-03 08:48:06 PM

Kinek: doyner: Kinek: The issue here is not the patentability of DNA (The Human Genome Project Race saw a bill that made that specifically not possible), but the patentability of isolated segments.

If you can patent a segment, you can patent the whole genome piecemeal.

Functionally, you can keep people from reading it, as this current case stands. So you can't patent the DNA itself, but you can sure as hell keep people from accessing it. Which is why the CAFC ruling irritated me.


Pisses me off too. I'm worried about the corporitist makeup of SCOTUS these days and how this is not a slam dunk.
 
2012-12-03 08:52:00 PM
Meh, patents were designed to protect the creative and inventive who create something unique or innovative.

Pocketable shapes are a matter of course(ie the Apple suits), not created and unique. Same goes for basic science, imo.

Patent trolling in this modern era is just disgusting.

You should not be able to patent discovery, in this sense, because it's not a creative or unique process, and other scientists in the same field will come upon it as a matter of course, eventually, and sooner rather than later when working with what we have here.

The process IS a product of nature. you add chemical X, and you will see Z yeild Y reaction, every time. Laws of chemistry and physics.

If you want to make money off of a discovery, secrecy is your friend. That is the only thing that really protects such things as recipes and methodology when it comes to cooking or making drinks. Some other mixologist/chef who stumbles on the right recipe on his own is immune to any suit(ideally....our civil court system is broken, but that is the spirit of the law).
 
2012-12-03 08:54:25 PM

doyner: Kinek: doyner: Kinek: The issue here is not the patentability of DNA (The Human Genome Project Race saw a bill that made that specifically not possible), but the patentability of isolated segments.

If you can patent a segment, you can patent the whole genome piecemeal.

Functionally, you can keep people from reading it, as this current case stands. So you can't patent the DNA itself, but you can sure as hell keep people from accessing it. Which is why the CAFC ruling irritated me.

Pisses me off too. I'm worried about the corporitist makeup of SCOTUS these days and how this is not a slam dunk.


Should amuse you to note that the DoJ wrote an Amicus brief suggesting that the patent not be valid. Also, with the AMA and a few other health organizations protesting this, hopefully they'll rule sanely. The CAFC is a patent friendly court, don't take their opinion as indicative of the supreme courts. Myriad has a weak as fark case. As I've pointed out above, if the plaintiffs do -any- research at all, then Myriad should be torn to shreds. The CAFC tried to do an end run around everything here and say that some intermediate process was patentable. Hopefully that's seen as what it is.
 
2012-12-03 08:57:04 PM

omeganuepsilon: Meh, patents were designed to protect the creative and inventive who create something unique or innovative.

Pocketable shapes are a matter of course(ie the Apple suits), not created and unique. Same goes for basic science, imo.

Patent trolling in this modern era is just disgusting.

You should not be able to patent discovery, in this sense, because it's not a creative or unique process, and other scientists in the same field will come upon it as a matter of course, eventually, and sooner rather than later when working with what we have here.

The process IS a product of nature. you add chemical X, and you will see Z yeild Y reaction, every time. Laws of chemistry and physics.

If you want to make money off of a discovery, secrecy is your friend. That is the only thing that really protects such things as recipes and methodology when it comes to cooking or making drinks. Some other mixologist/chef who stumbles on the right recipe on his own is immune to any suit(ideally....our civil court system is broken, but that is the spirit of the law).


I understand what you're getting at, but of all the things in the world to advocate secrecy in, Genomics is not one of them. And consortiums and data-sharing is the lifeblood of these massive projects.
 
2012-12-03 09:05:09 PM
I think this is probably the one subject where I become a drooling neanderthal.

No. No no no no no. FFS keep your dirty, money-grubbing, capitalistic hands off my DNA! Seriously! Is there one place that is not sacred from these shiatbags who are a waste of good oxygen?

For some reason, people start talking cloning and corporations and being sued for the mere temerity to breed and I just lose it. Normally, I'm a relatively rational mostly-liberal, but on this one I might as well be a fundie Muslim. I don't mind patenting drugs, I don't mind patenting treatments and tests and what have you. . . but holy crap the right to patent a FARKING DNA SEQUENCE? You might as well hand a baby a set of building blocks and sequence random bits of DNA just on the off chance that ONE will be some multi-billion dollar cure to some disease.

This is the kind of stuff that does make me wish we'd blow ourselves up already. We'd do less damage long term, and the rest of the world would get the chance to move on without us.
 
2012-12-03 09:08:46 PM

Peki: I think this is probably the one subject where I become a drooling neanderthal.

No. No no no no no. FFS keep your dirty, money-grubbing, capitalistic hands off my DNA! Seriously! Is there one place that is not sacred from these shiatbags who are a waste of good oxygen?

For some reason, people start talking cloning and corporations and being sued for the mere temerity to breed and I just lose it. Normally, I'm a relatively rational mostly-liberal, but on this one I might as well be a fundie Muslim. I don't mind patenting drugs, I don't mind patenting treatments and tests and what have you. . . but holy crap the right to patent a FARKING DNA SEQUENCE? You might as well hand a baby a set of building blocks and sequence random bits of DNA just on the off chance that ONE will be some multi-billion dollar cure to some disease.

This is the kind of stuff that does make me wish we'd blow ourselves up already. We'd do less damage long term, and the rest of the world would get the chance to move on without us.


They're not patenting the Sequence!

They're just patenting the ability to read this particular section of sequence by making the intermediate patentable. Which is even worse in some ways.
 
2012-12-03 09:14:44 PM

Kinek: I understand what you're getting at, but of all the things in the world to advocate secrecy in, Genomics is not one of them. And consortiums and data-sharing is the lifeblood of these massive projects.


Not advocating it at all, just talking about the situation in general. If you're part of a larger body of work as such, you sort of give up the right to make exclusive monies. Absolutely, everyone working on raw science in that environment, that could benefit humanity, should share, that's precisely what you signed up for.

That is the ideal scientist, take the prestige, and earn grants and employments based on your abilities and image.

Copping out and being secretive with such things and trying to make signifigantly more money for zero further work, is just plain being a bastard.

Puts me in mind of crooked organizations like the RIAA, who want to profit indefinitely for very finite work.
 
2012-12-03 09:17:30 PM

omeganuepsilon: Kinek: I understand what you're getting at, but of all the things in the world to advocate secrecy in, Genomics is not one of them. And consortiums and data-sharing is the lifeblood of these massive projects.

Not advocating it at all, just talking about the situation in general. If you're part of a larger body of work as such, you sort of give up the right to make exclusive monies. Absolutely, everyone working on raw science in that environment, that could benefit humanity, should share, that's precisely what you signed up for.

That is the ideal scientist, take the prestige, and earn grants and employments based on your abilities and image.

Copping out and being secretive with such things and trying to make signifigantly more money for zero further work, is just plain being a bastard.

Puts me in mind of crooked organizations like the RIAA, who want to profit indefinitely for very finite work.


I'm in it to get something named after me. Fark y'all.

I'm kidding. But one of the requirements for participation in some of these consortiums is that under no circumstances can you patent what you come up with the groups data. I'm sure there's plenty of story behind that. And I'm betting one of them involves Myriad.
 
2012-12-03 09:46:34 PM
Michael Crichton wrote a book about this called "Next". Basically about a biotech that forcibly tried to take a biopsy from a person because they owned the patent on their genes. Or something like that. The book was stupid, in part due to the ridiculous plot. Sadly it doesn't seem quite so ridiculous now.
 
2012-12-03 09:50:40 PM
Someone should apply for the patent for all genes and give their name as God.
 
2012-12-03 09:52:08 PM
Isn't the better question at this point 'what the hell is wrong with the US Patent Office?'

If they didn't issue these asinine patents in the first place, wouldn't that significantly cut down on the subsequent lawsuits?
 
2012-12-03 09:59:24 PM

cman: Ok, I am confused by this (GASP AINT THAT A SHOCKER!)

I looked at the WP entry on the lawsuit and still am having some issues processing it.

Are they claiming that the test to find a certain gene is their patent? Or, are they claiming the gene is the patent itself? I cannot make heads or tales of this damn thing


The patent is on the "isolated genetic sequence." You can't patent most natural products, so you technically can't patent the genetic sequence itself, since it exists in nature. But what they ended up being able to patent, when some judges and patent lawyers without a clue let them do it decades ago, is patent the PCR (polymerase chain reaction) amplified product, which is really just a controlled reaction that makes a copy of a specific genetic sequence. That product can then be sequenced (read), which is the test.

It's still bullshiat, and I'm fundamentally opposed, as a human genetics researcher, to patenting of gene sequences unless it is truly synthetic in origin. But there is a lot of hyperbole in how many people interpret these patents and their effects. They have bad consequences, don't get me wrong, but not nearly as bad as the headline implies or some of the comments in the thread.
 
2012-12-03 10:00:23 PM

SacriliciousBeerSwiller: Michael Crichton wrote a book about this called "Next". Basically about a biotech that forcibly tried to take a biopsy from a person because they owned the patent on their genes. Or something like that. The book was stupid, in part due to the ridiculous plot. Sadly it doesn't seem quite so ridiculous now.


Its still ridiculous. For all that is wrong with gene patents, that isn't how they work. Micheal Crichton became an anti-scientific luddite at some point in his career, was pretty sad to see.
 
2012-12-03 10:04:44 PM

Kinek: doyner: Kinek: doyner: Kinek: The issue here is not the patentability of DNA (The Human Genome Project Race saw a bill that made that specifically not possible), but the patentability of isolated segments.

If you can patent a segment, you can patent the whole genome piecemeal.

Functionally, you can keep people from reading it, as this current case stands. So you can't patent the DNA itself, but you can sure as hell keep people from accessing it. Which is why the CAFC ruling irritated me.

Pisses me off too. I'm worried about the corporitist makeup of SCOTUS these days and how this is not a slam dunk.

Should amuse you to note that the DoJ wrote an Amicus brief suggesting that the patent not be valid. Also, with the AMA and a few other health organizations protesting this, hopefully they'll rule sanely. The CAFC is a patent friendly court, don't take their opinion as indicative of the supreme courts. Myriad has a weak as fark case. As I've pointed out above, if the plaintiffs do -any- research at all, then Myriad should be torn to shreds. The CAFC tried to do an end run around everything here and say that some intermediate process was patentable. Hopefully that's seen as what it is.


Given the ruling earlier this year by SCOTUS with regards to Mayo Collaborative Services versus Prometheus Laboratories, they aren't so corporatist that they can't see common sense on these subjects. Now from what I recall they specifically worded the ruling so it wouldn't be considered precedent for this case, but it still speaks to how they are likely to view certain aspects of it.

I believe we decided in Canada all ready that these sorts of gene patents weren't valid so Myriad's patent is already void here (IIRC)
 
2012-12-03 10:07:49 PM

KWess: Isn't the better question at this point 'what the hell is wrong with the US Patent Office?'

If they didn't issue these asinine patents in the first place, wouldn't that significantly cut down on the subsequent lawsuits?


Meh, the workers there work within the legal guidelines they're handed. It's just a job.

The government and law(to include precedent, often conflicting and pants on head retarded verdicts) are part of the real issue here. A large part of both has been influenced by money in the past, as well as manipulation of largely ignorant "peer" juries.

When the RIAA calls in a "favor" to the government, and then our government calls in a request to get the guys from Pirate Bay arrested in switzerland or wherever they were, the system as a whole is largely farked. Only once the money got big enough did the government stand up and take action like that. They certainly didn't care in decades past. People making mix tapes from the radio? "Get over it" was the official response when such things started to surface.

Sure, patents, copyrights, and trademarks are all technically different, but the principles are all the same, and it's gotten out of hand.
 
2012-12-03 10:08:32 PM
This sounds like a really elaborate way of getting out of paying child support.
 
2012-12-03 10:15:54 PM

entropic_existence: Kinek: doyner: Kinek: doyner: Kinek: The issue here is not the patentability of DNA (The Human Genome Project Race saw a bill that made that specifically not possible), but the patentability of isolated segments.

If you can patent a segment, you can patent the whole genome piecemeal.

Functionally, you can keep people from reading it, as this current case stands. So you can't patent the DNA itself, but you can sure as hell keep people from accessing it. Which is why the CAFC ruling irritated me.

Pisses me off too. I'm worried about the corporitist makeup of SCOTUS these days and how this is not a slam dunk.

Should amuse you to note that the DoJ wrote an Amicus brief suggesting that the patent not be valid. Also, with the AMA and a few other health organizations protesting this, hopefully they'll rule sanely. The CAFC is a patent friendly court, don't take their opinion as indicative of the supreme courts. Myriad has a weak as fark case. As I've pointed out above, if the plaintiffs do -any- research at all, then Myriad should be torn to shreds. The CAFC tried to do an end run around everything here and say that some intermediate process was patentable. Hopefully that's seen as what it is.

Given the ruling earlier this year by SCOTUS with regards to Mayo Collaborative Services versus Prometheus Laboratories, they aren't so corporatist that they can't see common sense on these subjects. Now from what I recall they specifically worded the ruling so it wouldn't be considered precedent for this case, but it still speaks to how they are likely to view certain aspects of it.

I believe we decided in Canada all ready that these sorts of gene patents weren't valid so Myriad's patent is already void here (IIRC)


I already mentioned Prometheus. But yeah, that's what gives me hope. That's why this case is heading to the Supreme court, because of the request for re-examination in light of the Prometheus decision. In function, both of them are the same. Companies patenting facts and associations. Myriad just happened to have a 'synthetic' intermediate which adds a bulwark against efforts to invalidate it.
 
2012-12-03 10:19:39 PM

entropic_existence: SacriliciousBeerSwiller: Michael Crichton wrote a book about this called "Next". Basically about a biotech that forcibly tried to take a biopsy from a person because they owned the patent on their genes. Or something like that. The book was stupid, in part due to the ridiculous plot. Sadly it doesn't seem quite so ridiculous now.

Its still ridiculous. For all that is wrong with gene patents, that isn't how they work. Micheal Crichton became an anti-scientific luddite at some point in his career, was pretty sad to see.


I swear to Fark Jesus if I ever introduce myself as a geneticist of any sort, within five minutes, Jurassic park gets brought up. He was an anti-science luddite early on. Or to be more specific, 'Science doesn't have all the answers. Lalalalalala.'
 
2012-12-03 11:13:21 PM

Kinek: Do you want your photocopier changing your document around? Perhaps editing some words?


That would be awesome for PPT presentations.
 
2012-12-03 11:15:51 PM

saturn badger: Kinek: Do you want your photocopier changing your document around? Perhaps editing some words?

That would be awesome for PPT presentations.


Now you've got me in the mood to wander down to the Software engineering section of campus and asking someone to take a copy of powerpoint and massage it into randomly inverting every couple of words every time you open the presentation.
 
2012-12-03 11:22:23 PM
I'm trying really hard to understand what Myriad has done..Here is an explanation and the two sides of the court case as set forth by Businessweek: Link

"The isolated DNA molecules before us are not found in nature," Circuit Judge Alan Lourie wrote. "They are obtained in the laboratory and are man-made, the product of human ingenuity. While they are prepared from products of nature, so is every other composition of matter."

Genes are encoded strands of nucleotides in different sequences that are responsible for inherited traits. In isolating genes, Myriad strips out unneeded information to home in on aspects that determine whether a person has a higher risk of breast and ovarian cancer.

The challengers say isolated DNA is identical to the coding that exists naturally in the body.

"Isolation simply makes a person's genetic information more accessible for sequencing by medical professionals," the group argued.

___________________________________________________________________

It seems that Myriad takes genetic material from patients, processes it, and claims a patent on the resulting "isolated" material. The isolated material is not altered; it's the same stuff that came from the patient. It's simply revealed, stripped of other material that made it difficult to examine.

If that's so, how in Hell can that judge call it "man-made?"

Did BW get it wrong? Am I misinterpreting something?
 
2012-12-03 11:33:03 PM

BarkingUnicorn: I'm trying really hard to understand what Myriad has done..Here is an explanation and the two sides of the court case as set forth by Businessweek: Link

"The isolated DNA molecules before us are not found in nature," Circuit Judge Alan Lourie wrote. "They are obtained in the laboratory and are man-made, the product of human ingenuity. While they are prepared from products of nature, so is every other composition of matter."

Genes are encoded strands of nucleotides in different sequences that are responsible for inherited traits. In isolating genes, Myriad strips out unneeded information to home in on aspects that determine whether a person has a higher risk of breast and ovarian cancer.

The challengers say isolated DNA is identical to the coding that exists naturally in the body.

"Isolation simply makes a person's genetic information more accessible for sequencing by medical professionals," the group argued.

___________________________________________________________________

It seems that Myriad takes genetic material from patients, processes it, and claims a patent on the resulting "isolated" material. The isolated material is not altered; it's the same stuff that came from the patient. It's simply revealed, stripped of other material that made it difficult to examine.

If that's so, how in Hell can that judge call it "man-made?"

Did BW get it wrong? Am I misinterpreting something?


No. That's all correct. That's why it's insane. PCR product (upon which this entire patent hangs at the moment) is for all intents and purposes functionally identical to the copy found in the genome. Minus some histones and methylation cues, but that's not important. Using a process that they don't hold the patent for (PCR), they take something that cannot be patented (Genomic DNA), make a copy of the thing that is identical to the genomic DNA (That they can't patent), then read it (Using tech that they don't have the patent for), and come up with a series of ATCGs (Information that they can't patent due to the fact that this is a fact in nature).

//PCR product is a section of Polymerase made DNA that is made over and over and over so we can read it. Like taking a page from a book, photocopying it 100000 times so you can read it from a very tall building. It's hard to read one lone page. Many copies are easier to read.
 
2012-12-03 11:37:26 PM

Kinek: BarkingUnicorn: I'm trying really hard to understand what Myriad has done..Here is an explanation and the two sides of the court case as set forth by Businessweek: Link

"The isolated DNA molecules before us are not found in nature," Circuit Judge Alan Lourie wrote. "They are obtained in the laboratory and are man-made, the product of human ingenuity. While they are prepared from products of nature, so is every other composition of matter."

Genes are encoded strands of nucleotides in different sequences that are responsible for inherited traits. In isolating genes, Myriad strips out unneeded information to home in on aspects that determine whether a person has a higher risk of breast and ovarian cancer.

The challengers say isolated DNA is identical to the coding that exists naturally in the body.

"Isolation simply makes a person's genetic information more accessible for sequencing by medical professionals," the group argued.

___________________________________________________________________

It seems that Myriad takes genetic material from patients, processes it, and claims a patent on the resulting "isolated" material. The isolated material is not altered; it's the same stuff that came from the patient. It's simply revealed, stripped of other material that made it difficult to examine.

If that's so, how in Hell can that judge call it "man-made?"

Did BW get it wrong? Am I misinterpreting something?

No. That's all correct. That's why it's insane. PCR product (upon which this entire patent hangs at the moment) is for all intents and purposes functionally identical to the copy found in the genome. Minus some histones and methylation cues, but that's not important. Using a process that they don't hold the patent for (PCR), they take something that cannot be patented (Genomic DNA), make a copy of the thing that is identical to the genomic DNA (That they can't patent), then read it (Using tech that they don't have the patent for), and come up with a series of A ...


It's not so much processing, or stripping out, as highlighting a section of the genome, hitting ctrl c, and then pressing a brick down on ctrl v. That's it. It's not magical. It's not some complicated process. It's a really, really, really farking simple concept.

www.ucl.ac.uk
 
2012-12-03 11:44:30 PM
Dear fine and upstanding individuals of this thread whom are both knowledgeable and reticent about this case.

This is the same Chief Justice that managed to make both sides angry and, at the same time, accept that UHC was something that is both a tax and a service.

I assure you he's going to adjourn the Supreme Court behind closed doors, they'll all discuss what is the best method to handle this across all fronts... and then tell them to go DIAF.
 
2012-12-04 12:02:47 AM

Kinek: entropic_existence: SacriliciousBeerSwiller: Michael Crichton wrote a book about this called "Next". Basically about a biotech that forcibly tried to take a biopsy from a person because they owned the patent on their genes. Or something like that. The book was stupid, in part due to the ridiculous plot. Sadly it doesn't seem quite so ridiculous now.

Its still ridiculous. For all that is wrong with gene patents, that isn't how they work. Micheal Crichton became an anti-scientific luddite at some point in his career, was pretty sad to see.

I swear to Fark Jesus if I ever introduce myself as a geneticist of any sort, within five minutes, Jurassic park gets brought up. He was an anti-science luddite early on. Or to be more specific, 'Science doesn't have all the answers. Lalalalalala.'


Wasn't the moral of Jurassic Park that genetics is awesome, and that the idea of cloning dinosaurs is so unbelievably awesome that any potential downsides can and should be ignored because DINOSAURS, FARK YEAH!

I read it when I was ten and that was my takeaway.
 
2012-12-04 12:17:58 AM
So the patented product IS man-made and not the original material taken from the patient. But each copy of the original material in the product is identical to the original material.

Myriad doesn't own patents on the processes used to create such products. But it claims a patent on a product that contains copies of this particular gene sequence.

This is like saying, "Hey, I painted a copy of the Mona Lisa using MY OWN PAINT, so nobody can paint another without paying me!"

Throw the bums out.
 
2012-12-04 01:44:46 AM

Snarfangel: What do you mean, Monsanto says I can't have sex? And why am I classified as "Roundup Ready?"


Pretty much this.
 
2012-12-04 02:03:54 AM

lennavan: BarkingUnicorn: Myriad Genetics is arguing that the molecules it has patented do not occur in nature. How would that entitle them to ownership of the naturally occurring condition and other methods of detecting and treating it?

Ask them. Also - these do occur in nature. That's kinda the entire point. That these things occur in breast cancer patients, which is why they wanted to include in the patent any ways to detect them.

BarkingUnicorn: If this patent applies to a method of creating man-made molecules that can be used to detect and/or treat naturally occurring genetic defects

I'm not sure how to best explain this without needing some biology background. Let me try it this way. DNA is made up of A, T, C and G. So for a very specific region of the genome, called BRCA1, these guys figured this out:

GAAGTTATCAGTCGACGTGAGCTCGCTGAGACTTCCTGGACGGGGGACAGGCTGTGGGGT
TTCTCAGATAACTGGGCCCCTGCGCTCAGGAGGCCTTCACCCTCTGCTCTGGGTAAAGTT
CATTGGAACAGAAAGAAATGGATTTATCTGCTCTTCGCGTTGAAGAAGTACAAAATGTCA
TTAATGCTATGCAGAAAATCTTAGAGTGTCCCATCTGTCTGGAGTTGATCAAGGAACCTG
TCTCCACAAAGTGTGACCACATATTTTGCAAATTTTGCATGCTGAAACTTCTCAACCAGA
AGAAAGGGCCTTCACAGTGTCCTTTATGTAAGAATGATATAACCAAAAGGAGCCTACAAG
AAAGTACGAGATTTAGTCAACTTGTTGAAGAGCTATTGAAAATCATTTGTGCTTTTCAGC
TTGACACAGGTTTGGAGTATGCAAACAGCTATAATTTTGCAAAAAAGGAAAATAACTCTC
CTGAACATCTAAAAGATGAAGTTTCTATCATCCAAAGTATGGGCTACAGAAACCGTGCCA
AAAGACTTCTACAGAGTGAACCCGAAAATCCTTCCTTGCAGGAAACCAGTCTCAGTGTCC
AACTCTCTAACCTTGGAACTGTGAGAACTCTGAGGACAAAGCAGCGGATACAACCTCAAA
AGACGTCTGTCTACATTGAATTGGGATCTGATTCTTCTGAAGATACCGTTAATAAGGCAA
CTTATTGCAGTGTGGGAGATCAAGAATTGTTACAAATCACCCCTCAAGGAACCAGGGATG
AAATCAGTTTGGATTCTGCAAAAAAGGCTGCTTGTGAATTTTCTGAGACGGATGTAACAA
ATACTGAACATCATCAACCCAGTAATAATGATTTGAACACCACTGAGAAGCGTGCAGCTG
AGAGGCATCCAGAAAAGTATCAGGGTAGTTCTGTTTCAAACTTGCATGTGGAGCCATGTG
GCACAAATACTCATGCCAGCTCATTACAGCATGAGAACAGCAGTTTATTACTCACTAAAG
ACAGAATGAATGTAGAAAAGGCTGAATTCTGTAATAAAAGCAAACAGCCTGGCTTAGCAA
GGAGCCAACATAACAGATGGGCTGGAAGTAAGGAAACATGTAATGATAGGCGGACTCCCA
GCACAGAAAAAAAGGTAGATC ...


To further illustrate: I can do this sequencing in several days (counting shipping time) with a cheek swab from any female within any reasonable distance, and get the same result (minus tandem repeats, SNPs, etc). It is literally the easiest thing to do in molecular biology, and these asshats put a patent on it.
 
2012-12-04 02:27:47 AM
static data cannot be patented and as it was created by your parents, its Copyright "them" anyway.

Till that 20 year margin wears out. Funny how that kinda works out in US law already.

Given that its ALL "prior work" and they cannot show any kind of "innovation" the whole concept is damned stupid.
 
2012-12-04 06:54:06 AM
I'm going to file a patent for a set of molecules I've isolated in human urine, then charge a royalty whenever anyone anywhere takes a piss.
 
2012-12-04 06:59:51 AM
So, what if the estates of Watson and Crick suddenly decided they wanted royalties for anyone who used their discovery of the structure of DNA in their research or testing? Would this guy be happy to pony up?

The only reason humanity escaped the Dark Ages is because we developed methods to record our knowledge so that future generations could start from what we'd already learned rather than having to learn it all over from scratch on their own, thus allowing the development of systems that require several lifetimes' worth of knowledge to create. If we start privately hoarding our current knowledge in the name of "Waaah, I want credit!", it is going to be a giant roadblock to any future innovation.
 
2012-12-04 07:20:40 AM

Fast Moon: So, what if the estates of Watson and Crick suddenly decided they wanted royalties for anyone who used their discovery of the structure of DNA in their research or testing? Would this guy be happy to pony up?

The only reason humanity escaped the Dark Ages is because we developed methods to record our knowledge so that future generations could start from what we'd already learned rather than having to learn it all over from scratch on their own, thus allowing the development of systems that require several lifetimes' worth of knowledge to create. If we start privately hoarding our current knowledge in the name of "Waaah, I want credit!", it is going to be a giant roadblock to any future innovation.


You do know that patent applications detail the invention that the inventor is seeking protection on? And that all published applications and issued patents are publicly available for anyone to read? And that one of the entire purposes of the patent system is to get inventors to disclose their inventions and discoveries, and in exchange give them a time limited exclusive right?

And in your example, what Watson and Crick discovered (the double helix structure) was something they observed that was already already found in nature, and would therefore be ineligible subject matter by the holding in Prometheus, much less prior decisions like Gottshalk . And there are limits to when you can file an application, you can't disclose your invention or discovery and then have your estates file an application 60 years later. If you seriously think that's possible, you need to actually read some of the patent law.
 
2012-12-04 07:56:11 AM

eXyRael: I'm going to file a patent for a set of molecules I've isolated in human urine, then charge a royalty whenever anyone anywhere takes a piss.


Talk about trickle down theory..
 
2012-12-04 08:00:23 AM

BarkingUnicorn: So the patented product IS man-made and not the original material taken from the patient. But each copy of the original material in the product is identical to the original material.

Myriad doesn't own patents on the processes used to create such products. But it claims a patent on a product that contains copies of this particular gene sequence.

This is like saying, "Hey, I painted a copy of the Mona Lisa using MY OWN PAINT, so nobody can paint another without paying me!"

Throw the bums out.


It's not even their own paint.

It's like taking photoshop, taking a painting that's not yours, blowing the painting up so you can look at a portion of the painting, and then saying that the blown up portion is now patentable. Literally nothing in this case is actually theirs or patentable. From the code to the PCR process to the read technology to the data. None of it is Myriad's or patentable. The only thing they 'innovated' on was the association between this gene and Breast cancer. Which to re-emphasize, IS NOT PATENTABLE. The judge clutched at straws to keep the patent valid by finding SOMETHING that might be patentable. Essentially the buffer for your youtube video.
 
2012-12-04 08:02:04 AM

mcjon01: Kinek: entropic_existence: SacriliciousBeerSwiller: Michael Crichton wrote a book about this called "Next". Basically about a biotech that forcibly tried to take a biopsy from a person because they owned the patent on their genes. Or something like that. The book was stupid, in part due to the ridiculous plot. Sadly it doesn't seem quite so ridiculous now.

Its still ridiculous. For all that is wrong with gene patents, that isn't how they work. Micheal Crichton became an anti-scientific luddite at some point in his career, was pretty sad to see.

I swear to Fark Jesus if I ever introduce myself as a geneticist of any sort, within five minutes, Jurassic park gets brought up. He was an anti-science luddite early on. Or to be more specific, 'Science doesn't have all the answers. Lalalalalala.'

Wasn't the moral of Jurassic Park that genetics is awesome, and that the idea of cloning dinosaurs is so unbelievably awesome that any potential downsides can and should be ignored because DINOSAURS, FARK YEAH!

I read it when I was ten and that was my takeaway.


I should have never read it as a conscious adult. That was my takeaway as a ten year old too.
 
2012-12-04 08:36:30 AM
The thing that nobody seems to mention is that patenting naturally occurring genes is just like patenting cancer. The genes and cancer already exist, everybody has the right to study them, it's the cure that gets patented, not the problem. It's ridiculous that this problem has been allowed to get so far out of hand.
 
2012-12-04 09:06:17 AM

Kinek: I already mentioned Prometheus. But yeah, that's what gives me hope. That's why this case is heading to the Supreme court, because of the request for re-examination in light of the Prometheus decision. In function, both of them are the same. Companies patenting facts and associations. Myriad just happened to have a 'synthetic' intermediate which adds a bulwark against efforts to invalidate it.


Yeah, I only checked the beginning and end of the thread, so I missed you bringing it up. At least I can generally count on some other solid fellow science farkers to jump in to these threads :)

Kinek: I swear to Fark Jesus if I ever introduce myself as a geneticist of any sort, within five minutes, Jurassic park gets brought up. He was an anti-science luddite early on. Or to be more specific, 'Science doesn't have all the answers. Lalalalalala.'


With a streak of "Science will kill us all with its immoral behaviour" as well.

Kinek: No. That's all correct. That's why it's insane. PCR product (upon which this entire patent hangs at the moment) is for all intents and purposes functionally identical to the copy found in the genome. Minus some histones and methylation cues, but that's not important. Using a process that they don't hold the patent for (PCR), they take something that cannot be patented (Genomic DNA), make a copy of the thing that is identical to the genomic DNA (That they can't patent), then read it (Using tech that they don't have the patent for), and come up with a series of ATCGs (Information that they can't patent due to the fact that this is a fact in nature).

//PCR product is a section of Polymerase made DNA that is made over and over and over so we can read it. Like taking a page from a book, photocopying it 100000 times so you can read it from a very tall building. It's hard to read one lone page. Many copies are easier to read.


Best summary ever.

Kinek: It's not so much processing, or stripping out, as highlighting a section of the genome, hitting ctrl c, and then pressing a brick down on ctrl v. That's it. It's not magical. It's not some complicated process. It's a really, really, really farking simple concept.


And not to mention that the process itself is just a controlled and simplified version of how DNA is copied during cell division in the first place.

Kinek: I should have never read it as a conscious adult. That was my takeaway as a ten year old too.


Its why I haven't re-read it since I was a teenager, or read anything by Chrichton since I finished my undergrad.
 
2012-12-04 10:27:34 AM

entropic_existence: And not to mention that the process itself is just a controlled and simplified version of how DNA is copied during cell division in the first place.


That's the part that galls me about the whole pronouncement by the company and the judge that this is man-made. It's not. At least less so than most of things. Dog shiat is not manmade. Insulin is not man-made (by which I mean commercially synthesized quantities delivered to us by GM E. Coli). We borrowed Taq from a bacteria in yellowstone, we take DNA from somewhere else, and all we really do is hijack a natural process for our own ends. The only thing you did, Myriad, when you run this test, is mix everything together. That's it. And of course, found the association. But we've already decided that you can't exclude the market from that information.
 
2012-12-04 10:30:52 AM

entropic_existence: Kinek: I already mentioned Prometheus. But yeah, that's what gives me hope. That's why this case is heading to the Supreme court, because of the request for re-examination in light of the Prometheus decision. In function, both of them are the same. Companies patenting facts and associations. Myriad just happened to have a 'synthetic' intermediate which adds a bulwark against efforts to invalidate it.

Yeah, I only checked the beginning and end of the thread, so I missed you bringing it up. At least I can generally count on some other solid fellow science farkers to jump in to these threads :)

Kinek: I swear to Fark Jesus if I ever introduce myself as a geneticist of any sort, within five minutes, Jurassic park gets brought up. He was an anti-science luddite early on. Or to be more specific, 'Science doesn't have all the answers. Lalalalalala.'

With a streak of "Science will kill us all with its immoral behaviour" as well.

Kinek: No. That's all correct. That's why it's insane. PCR product (upon which this entire patent hangs at the moment) is for all intents and purposes functionally identical to the copy found in the genome. Minus some histones and methylation cues, but that's not important. Using a process that they don't hold the patent for (PCR), they take something that cannot be patented (Genomic DNA), make a copy of the thing that is identical to the genomic DNA (That they can't patent), then read it (Using tech that they don't have the patent for), and come up with a series of ATCGs (Information that they can't patent due to the fact that this is a fact in nature).

//PCR product is a section of Polymerase made DNA that is made over and over and over so we can read it. Like taking a page from a book, photocopying it 100000 times so you can read it from a very tall building. It's hard to read one lone page. Many copies are easier to read.

Best summary ever.

Kinek: It's not so much processing, or stripping out, as highlighting a section of the genome, hitt ...


One last note. Dinosaurs>Morality. When was the last time Kant gave me velociraptors? Or Apatasauruses? I'll still take feathered archeaopteryx over the is-ought problem.
 
2012-12-04 10:43:51 AM

Kinek: One last note. Dinosaurs>Morality. When was the last time Kant gave me velociraptors? Or Apatasauruses? I'll still take feathered archeaopteryx over the is-ought problem.


I would love a real life Jurassic Park myself. Totally bad ass. Also, other than it basically being impossible to really clone dinosaurs (we can maybe reverse engineer them and make Pseudo-Dinosaurs) it isn't a bad idea. Crichton had to make a thriller of course but the notion that it would be inherently more dangerous than running a zoo or game preserve was downright stupid.
 
2012-12-04 10:46:20 AM

entropic_existence: Kinek: One last note. Dinosaurs>Morality. When was the last time Kant gave me velociraptors? Or Apatasauruses? I'll still take feathered archeaopteryx over the is-ought problem.

I would love a real life Jurassic Park myself. Totally bad ass. Also, other than it basically being impossible to really clone dinosaurs (we can maybe reverse engineer them and make Pseudo-Dinosaurs) it isn't a bad idea. Crichton had to make a thriller of course but the notion that it would be inherently more dangerous than running a zoo or game preserve was downright stupid.


I would argue things like Pterosaurs could be very problematic. Large, winged predatory reptiles would cause some issues.
 
2012-12-04 10:53:14 AM

nekulor: I would argue things like Pterosaurs could be very problematic. Large, winged predatory reptiles would cause some issues.


Sure, if you build your park like a moron. It was more the idea from Crichton that such failures were inevitable that was stupid. Not that it would be dead simple to build an adequate park.
 
2012-12-04 11:00:26 AM

entropic_existence: nekulor: I would argue things like Pterosaurs could be very problematic. Large, winged predatory reptiles would cause some issues.

Sure, if you build your park like a moron. It was more the idea from Crichton that such failures were inevitable that was stupid. Not that it would be dead simple to build an adequate park.


Well, we do have the occasional slip-up at a Zoo, but nothing like the animals breeding, killing their caregivers and building a thriving new island ecosystem based on a flawed genetic premise that incorporation of frog DNA would allow them to evolve the ability to be hermaphroditic faster. Also, if they used that genome, but didn't account for that possibility, then that entire team of geneticists should have been beaten to death. That's a rookie mistake in genetic engineering and construction of chimeric organisms. Step one is always know your base genome, and what the organism is capable of.
 
2012-12-04 11:17:05 AM

nekulor: Well, we do have the occasional slip-up at a Zoo, but nothing like the animals breeding, killing their caregivers and building a thriving new island ecosystem based on a flawed genetic premise that incorporation of frog DNA would allow them to evolve the ability to be hermaphroditic faster. Also, if they used that genome, but didn't account for that possibility, then that entire team of geneticists should have been beaten to death. That's a rookie mistake in genetic engineering and construction of chimeric organisms. Step one is always know your base genome, and what the organism is capable of.


Not to mention that of course, it would entirely depend on what genes they used. Plus using amphibian genes was idiotic in the first place, birds would be better for a subset of dinosaurs, other reptiles being best for others. All kinds of wrong with the genetics of that book.
 
2012-12-04 11:20:54 AM

entropic_existence: Kinek: One last note. Dinosaurs>Morality. When was the last time Kant gave me velociraptors? Or Apatasauruses? I'll still take feathered archeaopteryx over the is-ought problem.

I would love a real life Jurassic Park myself. Totally bad ass. Also, other than it basically being impossible to really clone dinosaurs (we can maybe reverse engineer them and make Pseudo-Dinosaurs) it isn't a bad idea. Crichton had to make a thriller of course but the notion that it would be inherently more dangerous than running a zoo or game preserve was downright stupid.


I've sat around thinking that myself. Maybe in a hundred years, we'll understand the building blocks well enough that we can recreate what we think a dinosaur is. This is not a dinosaur, but fark it, it's good enough for me.
 
2012-12-04 11:40:51 AM

Kinek: I've sat around thinking that myself. Maybe in a hundred years, we'll understand the building blocks well enough that we can recreate what we think a dinosaur is. This is not a dinosaur, but fark it, it's good enough for me.


Something approximating a theropod will be the easiest in theory, since they will be so similar to modern birds. In molecular evolution we already do ancestral sequence reconstruction in a probabilistic fashion to estimate ancient sequences. We are also starting to do it with whole genomes. It won't be identical but in theory we can come up with rough probabilistic approximations of possible ancestral states.
 
2012-12-04 12:26:46 PM
www.topnews.in
Amatures
 
2012-12-04 12:36:48 PM

entropic_existence: Kinek: I've sat around thinking that myself. Maybe in a hundred years, we'll understand the building blocks well enough that we can recreate what we think a dinosaur is. This is not a dinosaur, but fark it, it's good enough for me.

Something approximating a theropod will be the easiest in theory, since they will be so similar to modern birds. In molecular evolution we already do ancestral sequence reconstruction in a probabilistic fashion to estimate ancient sequences. We are also starting to do it with whole genomes. It won't be identical but in theory we can come up with rough probabilistic approximations of possible ancestral states.


I'm so used to dealing with incomprehensibly massive genomes that I forget that you can actually do this with already known genomes.
 
2012-12-04 01:11:25 PM

Kinek: I'm so used to dealing with incomprehensibly massive genomes that I forget that you can actually do this with already known genomes.


Hehe, you think plant genomes are bad...

Yeah, many of the protists are just as bad as plants for having huge genomes as well. Spent lots of my PhD doing work there. And some of them are just weird in other ways. Extensive RNA-editing, ciliates have a bizarre organization with two types of nuclei (one for reproduction and a bunch of other "functional" nuclei), etc. Just down-right weird.
 
2012-12-04 02:21:26 PM
Oh well, at least China can enjoy all the stuff we've discovered and invented after we collapse into a web of IP that keeps us from advancing any discipline.
 
2012-12-04 04:29:53 PM
"Corporations alone are people too."
 
2012-12-05 02:19:22 AM
I am going to patent my isolated oxygen molecule. You ALL must pay me to breath my molecule!

/pay me or die!
 
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